Last month I gave you some ideas for speed cleaning any room and today I thought a follow-up with how to ‘speed organize’ any space might be helpful. Speed organizing is best when you’re tackling a space that really needs a little organization and when you only have a few minutes to get it in order. All you need is fifteen minutes and a little motivation. If you have an entire room to tackle or a closet, you can still follow these steps but you’ll probably need a little more than 15 minutes. This technique is great for grade school-aged kids too – try organizing an area of their room together and then let them try it themselves.
- Grab a garbage bag, a cleaning cloth with an all-purpose cleaner, and a couple containers to put your items in while your organizing. I have a couple small, round clothes baskets that work really well (when they’re empty of course) for little organizing sessions.
- Completely empty the space. If it’s a drawer or a cupboard empty it all out onto the floor or a table nearby. Don’t get distracted with what you just unearthed from your disorganized space. Stay on task and move on to the next step.
- Spray and wipe the area clean. If you’re going to take the time to organize a space it’s worthwhile to clean the surfaces off at the same time.
- Sort. Quickly sort all the items into four piles – toss, keep, relocate, donate. Use your garbage bag for the toss items, keep is for the items that will stay in your soon-to-be organized space, relocate is for anything that you still want but doesn’t belong here, and donate is for items that you don’t want but someone else can use. Keeping a donate basket or bag in your house is a great organizing tip – when the basket is filled up, take a drive to your local donation store.
- Put away the keep pile. Now that you have sorted through your disorganized space, it’s time to put the keep pile back into the space. Before you start putting everything back, take a minute to re-sort the items and put them into groups. The number one rule to an organized home (in my opinion) is putting like items with like items. Pencils go in the pencil box, magazines go in the magazine basket, books go on the bookshelf, forks go with forks, etc. Keeping your items grouped together eliminates searching which saves time and money when you’re running a household.
- Contain. Once you’ve organized your space, you might need a container or two to corral your formerly disorganized items. If that’s the case, search your house for something you can use to organize your space. If you come up empty handed, put it on your list for the next time you’re out and about.
Need a little inspiration? Here’s a post on keeping your kitchen counters clear for good, the secret to keeping mail off the counters, 4 steps to an organized nightstand, and simple ways to organize cupboards.
If you liked this post, I talk about all things clean and organized on my blog, Clean Mama, I’d love for you to come visit!
Where did you get the coloured storage boxes?
Where are the coloured boxes from?
Fantastic! Love this step by step breakdown. Keeping the time down to a few minutes will help ensure we organize our space more often. This might help to eliminate redoing whole rooms at a time, for those that have a difficult time committing to a weekend of it.
Relocate is the killer. I’m constantly saying i don’t want it here, but i don’t know where else it should go.
Becky - Clean Mama says
Put it in a box and put it in the basement or a closet – if you don’t need it in 6 months, get rid of it.
KIM STRATEMEYER says
Do you have any tips on the best left over containers to buy my cupboard is always a mess…it seems? Ohhh and great blog…good tips.
Becky - Clean Mama says
I like glass containers (Ziploc has some good ones) because they stay put and they stack nicely.